Nick Grigg has signed a new two-year contract with Glasgow Warriors, ending speculation that he was on the verge of quitting Scotstoun for a club in England or France.
The 27-year-old centre, who has nine Scotland caps, had been linked with Wasps and La Rochelle. But, while confirming that there had been interest elsewhere, Grigg said that he had been persuaded to stay by a talk with incoming head coach Danny Wilson and by speaking to team-mates who had left the club only to return to what they saw as a superior environment to those at other teams.
“There were rumours and speculation going around,” Grigg said yesterday. “It’s kind of natural when a player is out of contract, I guess, that he’s going to explore options elsewhere, and there were a couple of clubs [got in touch] with my agent, but nothing really definitive.
“When Danny rang me and said he was keen for me to stay, it kind of swayed me a bit and made me think maybe I should stay in an environment that I was comfortable in and happy with. So in the end it was quite an easy decision to stay for another couple of years.
“It was a pretty basic conversation. He just told me that he sees a future for me at the club and he would like me to stay at the club. I’ve known him in the Scotland set-up, so I know him quite well, and he’s a real straight-up, honest guy. Just the fact that he was saying he saw me as part of the future and was keen for me to stay at the club – that was enough to persuade me.”
Niko Matawalu, DTH van der Merwe and Leone Nakarawa are among the star names to have returned to the Warriors after spells elsewhere, and they will be joined this summer by Richie Gray. Having heard what they had to say about life elsewhere, Grigg was doubly convinced that staying put was the right decision.
“It is good for the confidence just to know that there are other clubs interested in you out there as well. But at the end of the day I’m happy here and the grass is not always greener, as they say. A lot of players actually leave Glasgow and end up coming back a couple of years later and saying that the environment we have is nothing like any other club.
“There’s DTH, Niko in the past few years and also Leone, who has just come back recently. It’s a unique place to be. Although the weather can be challenging at times, it’s the boys at the club and the coaching environment that makes it such a good place to be.”
Grigg’s year got off to a painful start when he sustained a nasty head injury in Glasgow’s win over Benetton. But, having returned to full fitness and enjoyed a mid-season break, he feels reinvigorated and ready to resume the Pro14 campaign as it enters a critical phase. That win in Treviso gave the Warriors some much-needed momentum as they try to climb into the play-off spots, but they still have some ground to make up and could do with another five points when they take on Zebre at Scotstoun tomorrow evening.
“We’re sitting fourth at the moment,” Grigg added. “There’s still a fair few games to go, so we still have confidence and we know that we can make it into the play-offs. It’s a big game against Zebre on Friday, but we’ve prepared well and hopefully we’ll knock them over and get the win. We’re unbeaten in 2020, so that’s a good start for us. We’re on the way up.”